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Carol found one booster she was particularly gratified to hear was also touched by the values expressed in her pictures – retired CNN anchor Bernard Shaw, who volunteered to write the book’s foreword after seeing an early proof. “I was at a chamber music concert on a Sunday,” Carol recalls. “I got home, picked up the phone, and on the other end I hear, ‘This is Bernard Shaw.’ His voice is so cool! And I have to tell you that every time he calls me he says, ‘This is Bernard Shaw.’
“So he said, ‘I just finished your book, I took it out on my patio, read the whole thing and I just love it. I did a foreword and I want to know if this is what you want.’ So he faxed it over; it is not a traditional foreword and it’s not lengthy in detail, but I think for this book, it is a perfect foreword. I couldn’t even imagine anything better. It is so beautiful and so supportive. He came out to Sedona to visit, and I have one picture of him out here on the deck. I used my little digital camera and the battery was low. So I only got one shot of him outside with the red rocks behind him, but he’s here.”
Carol and her husband, Larry, a doctor, continue to travel very frequently, but they rarely go to the same places twice, which is how they knew Sedona should be their home. “This was the only place that we kept coming back to,” Carol jokes. She and Larry discovered Sedona by accident, when she was still working at her old job in marketing. “I was working on a product launch and I had never done big offsite meetings,” she recalls. “But as a special favor they asked. So Larry and I came here for a weekend – neither of us had ever been to the southwest. No one told us about Sedona or Red Rocks; we only knew our hotel, where we arrived in the pitch of night, pitch black. When we woke up in the morning, what we saw was very special. We came back several times, and then we bought a little house, for coming out once a month, and we thought of this as a town we might retire to – we did, about five years ahead of schedule. We have been here nine years now.”
Where some might be cowed by travel to remote corners, Carol notes that for her, each destination has been “better than we expected. To be exposed to such wonderful people and cultures…it’s always an honor. Once we sat with a lone elephant for an hour and just watched. We actually said ‘Thank You’ when we left. Whenever we travel, it’s an honor to be able to meet these people and see these beautiful places and record them for our memories, so that we can remember what an incredible experience it was.” With To Life, we can see exactly what she means.
Turtlewill Foundation, which will benefit from sales of Carol Scribner’s To Life, was founded by Irma Turtle, a one-time executive at the Oglivy & Mather advertising agency. Inspired by Is Anyone Taking Any Notice?, a book by photojournalist Donald McCullen, she founded Turtle Tours to specialize in travel to visit the world’s most remote peoples in 1985. Turtle Tours expeditions have given TurtleWill the “opportunity to reach and respond to the needs of populations and communities that would otherwise remain unnoticed, forgotten or unheeded by the rest of the world.” The Foundation’s Website (www.turtlewill.org) states the tours are “run out of respect and admiration for the tribal peoples visited and their remarkable ability to retain their traditions and heritage despite the incursions of the surrounding modern world.” To date, TurtleWill has relationships with tribal populations in Niger, Mali, Ethiopia, Mauritania and India.